Microsoft KB Archive/170683

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Article ID: 170683

Article Last Modified on 9/7/2001


  • Microsoft Excel 97 Standard Edition

This article was previously published under Q170683


When you set a print area on a worksheet in Microsoft Excel 97, the print area may not be set correctly if the worksheet contains any merged cells. Specifically, only part of a merged cell may be included in the print area. As a result, when you print the worksheet, the output may not contain all of the information.


This problem may occur if you use either of the following methods to set the print area:

  • While a range of cells is selected, you type print_area in the Name box and press ENTER.

  • In a Visual Basic for Applications macro, you set the print area by using a line of code similar to the following:

          ActiveSheet.PageSetup.PrintArea = Range("B2").Address

    In this example, B2 is the address of a cell that is part of a merged cell.


To prevent this problem from occurring, use any of the following methods to set a print area:

  • Instead of typing print_area in the Name box, point to Print Area on the File menu, and click Set Print Area.

  • If you are using a macro to set the print area, modify the code so that it uses the Selection property instead of the Range property. For example, if your code currently looks like this

          ActiveSheet.PageSetup.PrintArea = Range("B2").Address

    change it to the following:

          ActiveSheet.PageSetup.PrintArea = Selection.Address


  • Make sure that the range referred to by the macro includes all of the cells that have been merged, for example:

          ActiveSheet.PageSetup.PrintArea = Range("B2:F20").Address

Using any of these methods ensures that the print area is set correctly.


Microsoft has confirmed this to be a problem in the Microsoft products listed at the beginning of this article.


The following steps demonstrate the problem described in this article:

  1. In Microsoft Excel 97, create a new workbook.
  2. In Sheet1 of the new workbook, select the range B2:F20. On the Formatting toolbar, click the Merge And Center tool.
  3. Select the merged cell.
  4. In the Name box, type print_area and press ENTER.

Note that the dotted line that borders the print area surrounds only the original cell B2, not the entire merged cell. If you type a value in cell B2, and then view the worksheet in print preview, nothing is printed because the print area covers includes only the original cell B2.

To properly set the print area, select the merged cell. Then, point to Print Area on the File menu, and click Set Print Area. Click OK to set the print area. The print area includes the entire merged cell.

If you use a macro to set the print area, make sure that the macro uses the Selection property rather than the Range property. Or, make sure that the Range property refers to all of the cells that you merged.

Additional query words: XL97

Keywords: kbprint kbprb KB170683